I haven't read Lucy Foley's newest book that is referenced in this Crime Reads article, but I thought that my fellow Agathytes would enjoy this:
She makes a lot of the points that we have, over here, been periodically making in our posts - and I agree with much of what she says, including her nod to the way in which Christie allows her female characters (murderers and victims alike) to present the entire spectrum of villainy, from the banality of a woman who kills her long standing employer with a hatchet because she needs a bit of capital to open a tea shop to a woman who shoots her husband because she can no longer deal with his emotional distance and his constant philandering, to a woman who is murdered because her extreme abusiveness has finally pushed one member of her family too far.
I also agree that most of Christie's mysteries only superficially resemble the "cozy" mystery. There is nothing cozy about the Lee family, even if we do spend Christmas with them, or the love triangles that she creates in Death on the Nile or Evil Under The Sun, where treachery and manipulation are the orders of the day. Neither families nor lovers are for the faint of heart in Agatha Christie's world.
I love the fact that Agatha is having a moment, as they say. And, even if the newer adaptations are not as faithful to the source material as we, the Agathytes (I've just coined this appellation, a corruption of acolytes, because I think we need a name, and it amuses me), hopefully the adaptations will introduce new generations of people to her books as readers.
As it turned out, I had read The Sleeping Murder. So, I've been down to one mystery for a while now. I'm filled with a weird sense of elation and sadness at the prospect of being done. Fortunately, there are always rereads. I've concluded, at this point, that in many ways, one should always reread Agatha, because there is more in the telling than is accessible on the first read. The first read is about the puzzle; the subsequent reads are about the people.
Here's the thing - the people who believe that Agatha Christie was *just* a mystery novelist, even if they agree that she was the best mystery novelist of all time, they are, in part, missing the point. She didn't just write mysteries - she wrote humanity through the prism of violence. And she did it with aplomb and a fresh appeal that continues to exist, even after all of these years. It was a remarkable achievement that I, 65 books in, have just begun to discover and understand.